Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

How Teachers and Technology Can Work for Students

February 01, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

In their recent Commentary, Jonathan Miller-Lane and Tara Affolter wrote that “every teacher must have both a firm grasp on content and be able to make learning meaningful to the next generation of children” (“Toward Greater, More Equitable Access to an Excellent Education,” Jan. 19, 2011). For that, they ask us to rely on and enhance the place of liberal arts in the training of teachers. But there is another way to tackle the problem. Suppose we bifurcate content from critical thinking and assign the delivery of the former to the wonders of technology, while the latter becomes the primary job of a transformed teaching profession.

In the 21st century, even a well-trained individual cannot have the kind of knowledge that is available on the computer nor the capacity to disseminate that knowledge to a classroom full of students whose abilities range from the persistent underperformers to the underserved overachievers. Let students learn content adaptively, at their own pace, and let teachers help them connect the dots.

In Yuma, Ariz., at the Carpe Diem Collegiate High School and Middle School, the students divide their time between self-paced, individualized instruction on the computer and face-to-face time with teachers who are subject experts. There are six teachers and four coaches working with 243 6th to 12th graders, and the school ranks first in math and reading in its county. Assessments are embedded in the computer, and students know at all times how they are doing in the context of any given lesson. If they have a problem, they can summon a coach who helps them resolve it. The students are then divided into small groups with a teacher who explores with them what they have learned, what it means, how it can be applied, and what relevance it has to other things they know.

That’s the future of learning.

Gisele Huff

San Francisco, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the February 02, 2011 edition of Education Week as How Teachers and Technology Can Work for Students

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Modernizing Principal Support: The Road to More Connected and Effective Leaders
When principals are better equipped to lead, support, and maintain high levels of teaching and learning, outcomes for students are improved.
Content provided by BetterLesson
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: April 27, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 6, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 30, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
6 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 16, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
7 min read